Tomorrow marks one year since I started two projects. One was this blog and the other was my Photo-of-the-Day. I knew that posting a new photo every day was an ambitious goal, but I’d been thinking about it for a while and thought I had a good chance to keep it going for a year.
As for the blog, I was less confident that: A) I had very much worthwhile to say and B) I would stick with it and post on a regular basis for a year. A year ago, I’d been reading a few blogs occasionally, but it was really the writing of my daughters Lauren and Emily that inspired me to start doing it. Since then, Lauren has kept up with her “Bows and Arrows” and is very good at it. I hope Emily picks hers up again because she’s an excellent writer as well. My trepidation about the self-absorbed nature of this sort of thing faded as they showed me that a person can actually write about things (and show photos) that are of interest to others without going on and on about trivial and personal crap that people don’t care about.
Looking back through the 67 posts I’ve done since my birthday a year ago, I see that I failed in the personal crap category a few times (like right now) but I’ve tried to write only when I have something semi-interesting to say. These 68 posts spread out over a random year in my life will stand as some sort of record of what caught my attention, what I was thinking and what I wanted others to know about. As a reader, you can take it or leave it, but it’s nice to know that occasionally a few people got something out of something I’ve posted.
Having said that, let’s be honest, it IS mostly self-serving. I think I continue to do these posts for much the same reason I like taking photographs or making videos – they help me notice, remember and analyze things, people, and events. Mrs. D. and I just returned a few days ago from a spring break trip to Europe (more about that in future posts). As I was telling someone at work about the trip today, I realized what a small percentage of it I actually remember clearly even after such a short time. Places get mixed up, names of restaurants, stores, hotels, streets are a jumble that’s difficult to sort out even a week later. Without my photos (and blog reflections) I fear that many of those memories will fade quickly. I don’t want them to.
I never been a diary or journal-type guy, but I have always been attracted to telling people about stuff that interests me. When I was a kid, my cousin Bruce and I used to publish a “newspaper” whenever we’d get together at my grandmother’s house. We’d go around and interview various family members and write little news articles about them and then make handwritten copies of the paper to try to sell it to the adults. I remember some of the headlines, like “Bruce has Pointed Teeth”, “Timmy Broke his Leg” and “Our Dads both Wear Glasses”. Imagine how cool it would have been for us to have had cameras and computers – but how even more cool it would be to have those old papers now.
Looking through my posts reminds me how short a year is. I’m a believer that as you get older, time goes by faster. It seems like a couple of months ago that my dad died, the Ramgren family left an Easter basket with potatoes in it on my doorstep and Emily and Kyle found and made an offer on their house in Rochester.
The blink of an eye.
So tonight, my 58th year comes to a close. I’ve decided to continue the photo project, but in a little different form. One photo every day was a good exercise and I’ll probably do it again sometime, but it is difficult to keep up. Some days it’s just hard to take a good photo. Other days I might come up with 3 or 4 that I like. So instead of posting a sometimes-crappy picture just because it’s another day, I’m going to try a weekly posting of “Photos of the Week” – 5 to 10-ish pictures shot during each week. I’m hoping this will result in higher over-all quality and fewer days of running around before the sun goes down to try to grab something.
As for “The 58th Year” – well, the name obviously has to go. I’ve been thinking about a new name, but haven’t decided on anything yet. The only thing I know for sure is that it won’t be “The 59th Year”. Suggestions are welcome.
It’s been a great year in so many ways and I’m grateful for that. I don’t know what the next year will bring, but let’s just think about it a day at a time. Works best that way.
So turn the page. Happy new year.